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Dear Brothers and Sisters:  Gender and Its Responsibility

Sunday, July 25, 2010


I greet you today with the Sanskrit word Namaste. Greetings are important, especially the thought that they convey. Hello conveys the thought that I recognize you or that I am here, but it is essentially free of any feeling; in many cases the friendlier Hi replaces it. I use Hi in most of my correspondence. However, Hi does not have deep meaning. Namaste on the other hand has depth; it means I bow to you.

That’s a beautiful thought to have in mind as we greet people. It has us defer to them and they in turn defer to us. The greeting imbues a sense of humbleness to all who say it.

For those who want the greeting of an organization to reflect power, then Namaste is ideal. Every saint, guru, prophet, and enlightened master in all religions preached and practiced humility. Humbleness is a requirement of the journey to the Godhead; it also enables a person to better serve his fellow man. Humbleness leads to spiritual power.

In a society where sports competitiveness has reached the level of wishing harm on one another, where competitors plot to injure each other outside of the event, and where the crowds cheer when an opponent is maimed in contact sport; an infusion of humbleness can do a lot to return a sorely needed sense of love and understanding for our fellow man.

Financial and professional competitiveness exhibit the same ruthlessness and wish for the undoing of others exhibited in sports. Businesses attempt to literally destroy the competition. Employees in their quest for promotion and advancement often deliberately work to denigrate those who appear to stand in their way of advancement.

Why this drive to outdo each other? Why the desire to win at al costs? Because the prize is money. Even fame takes second place to money; it becomes an instrument to earn even more money. Our grossly materialistic society makes the accumulation of money its highest goal. We live in a society that looks upon its fellow men and women as competition to be done away with instead of as brothers, sisters, sons and daughters to be loved, respected, and cared for.

It’s time to say, “I bow to you” to the man who has undertaken the responsibility of marriage and fatherhood. It is time to say, “I bow to you” to the wife and mother who devotes her life to nurturing the family. It is time to say, “I bow to you” to our elders. It is time to say, “I bow to you” to those who serve us and to those whom we serve.

An excellent start to negotiations with out “enemies” would be the greeting of Namaste.

The traditional way of giving the greeting is to hold your hands in front of the chest as in prayer, look in the eye of the person and bow slightly as you utter the word Namaste. If you can’t bring yourself to strike that pose then just say Namaste. If even uttering the word makes you feel self-conscious, then say Namaste silently to your self as you greet people.

In order to change the world we have to change ourselves, and a major step in that direction is to realize the divinity of all people and bow to it.


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